Ferrari to trial 'shield' device at British GP

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The 'shield' cockpit safety device which the FIA has chosen as a potential mandatory feature set to be introduced in F1 next year will be trialed for the first time at Silverstone.

It was expected that the protective component would not be tested until the Italian Grand Prix in September, but Ferrari will apparently run the 'shield' in free practice at the British Grand Prix.

In the past year, Formula 1, along with the FIA, has been evaluating concepts to improve a driver's cockpit safety and insure a form of protection from an impact with a foreign object or debris.

The 'halo' was trialed last year but did not lead to a consensus among the teams and drivers over its implementation, because of its awkward looking esthetics among other reasons.

While the FIA is still planning its introduction for next year, doubts remain whether the 'shield' will effectively appear on cars in 2018 given the amount of development work still required.

The practical matter of visibility shall have to validated, while aerodynamic constraints will also come into  play.

The device is likely to massively disrupt airflow over the top of the car, so engineers will require ample time to study its effects and design their cars accordingly.

"I think it's a better solution than the halo, that's for sure,"Red Bull Racing's Adrian Newey told Autosport recently.

"I think the first thing with the shield is to check the visibility, to see if it's a viable option. If the distortion is too much, then it's a non-starter, obviously.

"In terms of then having a closed cockpit, I don't think that's such a big thing to be honest.  But I think it's getting quite tight for 2018."


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